I was a model for a day today. It's not as easy as it looks. Don't smile. Smile. Part your lips. Keep your lips closed. Turn your shoulders towards me. Look more relaxed. Look less happy. The photographer quirks his eyebrows and smirks every time he looks at your digital photo. I inwardly cringe. What does that mean? Is his lighting bad? Or do I look like a hideous ogre and he's asking himself who let this person in?
It's amazing how quickly all of your image issues come glaringly to the surface. My nose is to big, my chin is too fat, my eyes are too wide, my mouth is too small. Is that a blemish? Not to mention over-the-top makeup and hair. You stop feeling like you and start feeling like a specimen. Under a mega-watt glare of light, I sit, I attempt to look serious but not sad, happy but not joyful. Sweat is breaking out on the photographer's head. He perches on a ladder, now he crouches on the floor, now the lens is directly in my face. It holds my gaze and dilates and constricts like some giant eyeball. Now I know how bugs feel.
I try and make jokes between shots and poses because that's what I do when I'm uncomfortable. I think I'm incredibly amusing. All I get is a pained smile for my efforts. I'm not acting very professional. I curb my tongue and work on my relaxed but not slouchy pose. I won't be changing careers any time soon.